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Self Assignment

What are Self Assignments and Why Do Them?

We all tend to get in creative ruts sometimes. We start assuming too much about what we can and can't photograph, and about the limits of our equipment, our film, and ourselves. These assignments (hopefully) take you out of your comfort zone and get you photographing things you might not normally shoot. 

The only way to really learn is to do and the more film you put through your camera the better you'll get.  Plus you get the chance to win a bunch of film.  This months winners will get 30 rolls of the Fuji Professional film of their choice courtesy of B&H Photo Video.

This Month - It's in the Details

This month's self assignment is about seeing beyond the obvious. It's about noticing the little details on the buildings around us.

Walk through the downtown section of a city and you hardly notice the buildings beyond their obvious shapes. But stop and look more closely through that long lens. The facades of older buildings have fascinating details, carvings, brass and cast concrete trim. Gargoyles peer over ledges, and decorative cornices hold up floors. On newer buildings repetitive patterns of color and shape catch the eye. On main street in small towns across America gingerbread trim decorates porches and rooftops are trimmed in copper and tile. In rural areas carved wood trim decorates homes and the weathered post and beam bones of old barns stand out in stark contrast to the corroded, aged look of weather vanes.

This months self assignment is to go out and capture these images while exploring the limits of your zoom lens. At what focal length and speed can you really handhold and get the image you want? What's really up there on those buildings? How does the focal length at 300mm effect perspective compared to 100mm?

Film Types
Color or Black & White, Negative or Slide

Lens Types
100mm minimum focal length or longer

Each month we pick several photos from the previous months contest that we think are worthy of publication. Photos should be submitted by email in JPEG format, and should be no larger than 700x700 pixels, 24 bit color (1.4MB). Overly large images will not be reviewed. Panoramic images may exceed 700 pixels in one direction but should not exceed 1.4MB in total file size. Submission of a photo will be considered a defacto release for publication. Please include the following in your email:

  • Name
    email address
    Brand & model of camera
    Brand & focal length of lens
    Brand & speed of film used (or specify digital)
    Scanner and/or scanning method
    How/if the image was manipulated digitally
    The story behind the image
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text and photography copyright 2001 Vivid Light Publishing